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Mon Mar 23, 2020, 09:28 PM

Colombian death squads exploiting coronavirus lockdown to kill activists

Three social leaders were killed last week after quarantine measures were introduced

Joe Parkin Daniels in Bogotá
Mon 23 Mar 2020 19.26 EDT

Death squads in Colombia are taking advantage of coronavirus lockdowns to murder rural activists, local NGOs have warned.

When cities across the country introduced local quarantine measures last week, three social leaders were killed, and as the country prepares to impose a national lockdown on Wednesday, activists have warned that more murders will follow.

Marco Rivadeneira, a high-profile activist, was murdered in the southern Putumayo province, Alexis Vergara was shot dead in the western Cauca region, and Ivo Humberto Bracamonte was killed on the eastern border with Venezuela.

. . .

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights last week reported that armed groups were continuing to commit brutal human rights abuses in Chocó, the province where Paez leads a community. Three people were beheaded, with one executed in front of their village, and a pregnant woman was murdered.


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